The Curious Case of Telegram Messenger – Iran vs Saudi Arabia

Telegram Messenger is currently the number one IM app in Iran, which has close to 20 million users in the country. With 80% of its user base coming from that country ever since Viber was blocked last year. According to a news agency based in Iran, the Cyber Police Chief of the country is pressing for transferring the apps servers to Iran if it seeks to continue its operation in the country.

Last year there were some rumors about the app being blocked in Iran, however the app continues to thrive in the country.

Telegram Messenger Saudi Iran

In contrast the app is being blocked by the Saudi authorities. Below is a tweet from the CEO of Telegram that confirms the news.

"I confirm, Telegram traffic is partly limited in Saudi Arabia since yesterday evening. The reasons are unknown," Pavel Durov said via Twitter.

Telegram is a free messaging application founded in 2013. In September 2015, the application had 60 million active users worldwide and delivered 12 billion daily messages. It was launched in 2013 by brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, who previously founded the Russian social network VK, but had to leave the company after it was taken over by the Russian Government. When Viber, previously the messenger app of choice in Iran, was blocked last year by the government, Telegram was where the Iranians migrated to. The app has been under constant scanner as many rebel groups have been using it for mass communication.


Founder of Telegram just confirmed to us that the only 20% of its user base comes from Iran.  


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